Poll: Voters Expect Obama to Lose in 2012

Poll: Voters Expect Obama to Lose in 2012

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - September 21, 2011

A new national poll finds voters losing confidence in President Obama's re-election chances. A majority thinks he will lose to the eventual Republican nominee in 2012, and nearly half of voters plan to vote against him when they cast their ballots next November.

With just over a year to go until the general election, 49 percent of voters say they definitely plan to cast their vote against Obama while 36 percent say they will definitely support him, according to a McClatchy/Marist survey. Notably, 53 percent of independents plan to vote against the president while only 28 percent are prepared to support him.

Additionally, most voters think the GOP will be able to win in 2012: 52 percent think the Republican candidate will defeat the president while 38 percent think Obama will win. A significant number of Democrats are pessimistic about the president's re-election chances as well: 31 percent think the GOP nominee will win next year.

In the GOP primary race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads the field with 30 percent support. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney places second with 22 percent, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann rounds out the top three with 12 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul attracts 7 percent of the support while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich garners 6 percent. None of the remaining candidates receives more than 5 percent, and 15 percent remain undecided.

While Perry leads the Republican pack, he trails Obama by nine points, 50 percent to 41 percent. They split the independent vote, 43 percent to 43 percent. Obama and Romney run virtually neck-and-neck, though the president holds a slim 46 percent to 44 percent lead. Romney leads among independents, 44 percent to 40 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who hasn't publicly made a decision about a 2012 run, trails the president, 49 percent to 44 percent. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another candidate who isn’t officially in the race, tops the president, 49 percent to 42 percent. Obama leads Bachmann by double digits, 53 percent to 40 percent.

Notably, though, 72 percent of Republicans don’t want Palin to toss her hat into the ring and 58 percent don’t want Giuliani to make another run for president. Both potential candidates have been hinting at a White House run in recent months.

The poll surveyed 1,042 adults, including 825 registered voters, from Sept. 13-14. The margin of error for the sample of registered voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The sample of the 317 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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